Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Kiddie Memories are Getting Fuzzier!

It took me a long time to add some eye lashes. For some reason, I find these very challenging. It is important that they are not overdone, you know...
The light brown fleece on the background is going to become their bodies. I am trilled to see how it will all work together...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fuzzy Kiddie Memories

When my kids were little, I just did not have time to truly enjoy their cuteness to the full extent. Now ten years later, I do miss their childhood sweetness. I mentioned this project last week, when started to work on Mark's face in "Crayola Air Dry" clay. Now I have completed little Paul's face too.

NOTE: air dry clay requires sealing.
I used two layers of Gesso, before started on
This project is new to me in very many ways. I definitely experiment with the materials and paints as I work on it. It was great to come back to painting again. I have not done this for a while, and polymer clay does not require much painting, just staining and blushing. Trying to go for portrait likeness and sculpting children faces is very challenging.

Now I am done with basic painting on the faces. I still need some fine tuning and detail. I am looking forward to it as well as constructing bodies and putting it all together. That should be interesting!

Paul is 11 years-old now. He did not change much,
still such a goof!

Mark was a VERY energetic little boy.
Now it is hard to believe,
he rather resembles a sleepy dinosaur.
A very cute sleepy dinosaur.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Little Miss Mouse gets Famous!

It was a wonderful surprise, when I took my happy son to a play date to his friend Travis, when, Travis' mom showed me the article from St. Louis Post Dispatch about the "Inspiration Event" at Chesterfield Arts with Ms. Mouse's full portrait! I was honored to see Ms. Mouse (and her creator) specifically mentioned here.

Apparently she looked a little scary. I can't say I anticipated that, I was hoping she would rather be pleasant and well behaved, oh, well....

Hopefully, she will still be able to find a good home. Did I mention that everything featured in the show is for sale? And  proceedings will go to support the "Kaleidoscope"program to benefit art students with special needs.
Here is more information about Chesterfield Arts. I am honored to be a member of this wonderful organization.

Anyway, it is late and I am tired with all the excitement of the day. Good night now, and may all your Artistic Dreams come true!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Starting a VERY Special Project

I am very exited because I am starting a new and very special project. I found an inspiration for it on the Russian site "Ярмарка Мастеров", which is as I understand, the Russian version of  "Etsy".
Check it out, it is a neat website. It is also has a page for master classes, full of great ideas and practical advice. There I found Master class presented by Oksana Muratova:

Создание тедди-долл в стиле `ретро`: Наверное, каждый кукольник хоть раз поддавался соблазну сделать плюшевую зверюшку.

She gives step by step guide how to make a soft doll in the "Retro Style": the the doll has a soft fluffy body and a child's face, looks like a kiddie in the cute animal costume. Adorable!

So I decided to make a pair of the dolls like that. I also want to make them special and add the personalized faces. I found photographs of my own kiddos, when they were about a tender age of four.
For the record, Mark ( my firstborn) is fifteen now.

I already sculpted Mark's face with "Crayola Air Dry" clay. He is going to be a little fluffy bunny rabbit. He just loves the idea (He-he!) Paul, my youngest one is going to be next.

This is how sweet Marki looked THEN

and this is how sweet Marki looks NOW

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Little Ms.Mouse is Ready to Leave the House

Yes, it is time for little Ms. Mouse to shine! She is completely assembled, beautified, and ready for her big opening day. Tomorrow she is going to be dropped off for the "Inspiration show" at "Chesterfield Arts"gallery. I sincerely hope that she will get some admirers there, pretty as she is. She may even find a new home. Little Ms. Mouse is a part of charity auction, the proceedings will go for "Kaleidoscope" program that provides Art Exploration classes for special needs children. One of them painted the art work that inspired Ms. Mouse creation. Wish her luck!
This is the painting that started it all...

This is the same piece of cake in
my artistic interpretation

This is Little Ms. Mouse in all her full blinding beauty

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Would you care for a cup of tea?

The little Ms. Mouse sure is having fun today: she is having a garden tea party, enjoying a warm and sunny evening.

Ms. Mouse is getting ready for her moment of glory, participating in the "Inspiration" exhibition next week. I still need to put a few finishing touches and arrange some things around, to let her truly shine.

In the meantime, my husband Sergey, who is also a wonderful photographer, snapped a few pictures of Ms. Mouse

Here are more images of her with the  strawberry cake

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bumps and Frustrations ...

I don't know why ever did I think that it was such a good idea to make a BJD in polymer clay. They look so beautiful and graceful when other people make them... There are hundred easier and cheaper ways to make a doll. But then, we are not looking for the easy ways, are we? I know one thing: my appreciation for the brave souls, who can attempt AND pull it off, grew much higher.

Here is "Dina". Right now she looks rather like Frankenstein, only with cellulite all over her body. It drives me nuts, when I try to smooth the parts. With the amount of time, material, and efforts I already invested in this girlie I am not likely to give up, although I very much like to do so, really...

I still need to sculpt feet and hands and then I have to connect it all together somehow.

Oh well, such is the life of an artist: there are good days and there are bumps and frustrations on the way...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dusty, the Underbed Monster

Dusty is 16"tall if standing, his hands,
feet and face are sculpted of 
polymer clay
His soft textile body mounted on the wire armature
This little guy has a special place in my heart. I created him earlier this year.

The idea of "Dusty" was inspired by my son, and his very messy room, he is  always accumulating all kinds of stuff under his bed.

Dusty is kind of a "dust bunny" hence his gray fluffy hair. I did not want to make him scary, just cute little creature.

Dusty is a little monster that lives under the bed of 10-years-old boy. As you may well imagine, his life is not easy and full of surprises. After all, you never know what may fall  under there...

Dusty even inspired me to compose a little poem about the hardship of his life, and now I am proud to present to you this "Timeless"piece:

Well, I know, I know that it may be not the best verse you ever read
but remember that English is my second language,
and  writing poems is a tricky business anyway...

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Mouse in the House! Or Working with Polymer Clay, Part Two

So, as I've worked on the piece of cake, I was thinking: "Yes, it is nice and all, but a little bit... let's say boring?"I felt like there has to be someone very special, who is able truly and fully appreciate a piece of  cake.  So I tought about a little likable mouse. So, here are the steps of working on this sweet adorable creature:

I decided to use "Original Sculpy", I just got the stuff on sale couple of weeks ago. Before that I only used "Sculpy, The Living Doll" and was quite surprised that "Original" is more like "Model Magic", fluffy and light. These are nice qualities, but on the down side, it was much harder to smooth and blend.
Again, I used some "Carve Foam" and Gesso as the base. It really helps to save the polymer clay, which is not cheap even on sale, and make the sculpture lighter.
At this point my son told me that this doesn't look
like a mouse, it rather looks like a "donkey face".

I use "ready made" acrylic eyes that I found in one pretty neat internet store:

You are welcome ;)

They are cheap and look good, although may deform slightly when backed.
Then I stained the sweet little face with water based oil paints

I made hands, feet and body separately and backed them first before connected them together. In case you are wondering, there are many great tutorials on how to make  hands. My personal favorite is
http://www.renatajansen.co.uk/gallery/tutorials/hand_tutorial.asp by  Renata Jansen.
She is absolutely wonderful and has been a great inspiration.
Even before I stain  the body,
I layer a little pink 'Living Doll"
  Sculpy in the strategic places, such as
tummy, palms, nails, and feet.
At this point I start to add and bake
together the separate parts of my mouse.

Loose cotton (from cotton balls) and some loose yarn
 works very well for adding fur and fluff for the Mouse
Here is the Mouse, she seems to be very enthusiastic for the cake... All I have left to do is to combine the two together. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The "Inspiration" Challenge, continued

It is a "piece of cake" to make a piece of cake! Here is the recipie:
Take two triangles of regular brown cardboard,
some "MagicModel" (natural colors)
spread and layer it around the cardboard base

And don't forget a nice ripe strawberry made of "Sculpey"
and painted with water based oils Yamm!
 Well, with this done, I feel that this work of art needs something more... It is truly lacking someone who is able fully appreciate it. Naturally, I think: "It is a Mouse in the House!"

I can't really say that I love mice very much, not when they are lurking in my garage. However, I feel that they can be quite cute sometimes. When I was 16 years old, I had a pet rat "Henry" he was pretty neat. So this timeless Work of Art I dedicate to him.